Treasury Underscores U.S. Commitment to Humanitarian Support for Venezuelan People

AUGUST 06, 2019

Washington—Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued guidance highlighting the United States’ commitment to the unfettered flow of humanitarian aid to the Venezuelan people. OFAC maintains several authorizations that permit humanitarian-related transactions, enabling continued support to the people of Venezuela and ensuring that legitimate humanitarian activity is not the target of U.S. sanctions.

“Treasury is committed to ensuring the unfettered flow of humanitarian aid to the people of Venezuela, who continue to suffer as a result of the mismanagement and corruption of the illegitimate former Maduro regime. It is imperative that the international community continues to fully utilize humanitarian exemptions to ensure that food and supplies continue to flow to Venezuelans suffering from Maduro’s man-made economic crisis,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “The United States stands with the Venezuelan people and interim President Juan Guaidó in support of efforts to ensure that food, international aid, and resources reach vulnerable Venezuelans. Treasury regulations have and will continue to allow for unimpeded humanitarian support to the Venezuelan people, and we encourage U.S. persons to employ these authorizations to engage with those in need.”

OFAC’s regulations and general licenses allow U.S. persons to continue to provide humanitarian support to the Venezuelan people, including transactions through the U.S. financial system for certain authorized activity related to food, agricultural commodities, medicine, and medical devices; non-commercial, personal remittances; international organizations; telecommunications and mail; the Internet; medical services; and nongovernmental organizations.

Humanitarian support is generally excepted from sanctions, so long as such activity meets the requirements outlined in each authorization. Sanctions do not prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in transactions involving the country or people of Venezuela, provided blocked persons or proscribed conduct are not involved.

Across all sanctions programs, we remain committed to working with the private sector to clarify U.S. sanctions regulations and promote a risk-based approach to sanctions compliance, including in cases involving the provision of humanitarian aid. For transactions not otherwise authorized by OFAC general licenses, OFAC maintains a long-standing, favorable specific licensing policy supporting the provision of humanitarian assistance through which U.S. persons can request OFAC approval for such transactions. OFAC considers specific licenses on a case-by-case basis and prioritizes license applications, compliance questions, and other requests related to humanitarian support for the Venezuelan people.

Original statement at https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/sm752